News: Iraqi army develops explosive skills
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Iraq — A block demolition charge, or C4, comes in a 1.25 pound pack with pressure-sensitive adhesive tape on the surface. The charge can be cut to fit irregularly-shaped targets when necessary.
That's not the kind of knowledge every troop needs to have, but Soldiers from Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment know it well and had a chance to pass their experience on to a group of 20 Iraqi army soldiers at an introductory class on military demolitions and explosives, Oct. 6.
During the course, the Iraqi soldiers were taught to identify components, characteristics and capabilities of military explosives. They were also shown different types of detonation cord firing systems and how to properly and safely prime and use military explosives.
"The purpose of this training was to train the Iraqi army in safe use and handling of military explosives," said 1st Lt. Matthew Burgoon, the platoon leader for 2nd Platoon, Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, "Helping them develop safe practices will allow them to further develop their own standard operating procedures."
The training also covered minimum safe distances troops should be away from explosives so they do not sustain injuries from the blast or debris.
"The Iraqi army soldiers picked up all the practical exercises very quickly and they put everything they learned into practice during the live fire range that we ended the training with," said Burgoon.
Each Iraqi soldier was required to tie the special knots required for explosive charges, learn about the shock tube detonation system and safely work with fragile blasting caps that can detonate if exposed to extreme heat or pressure.
"The training went really well," said Burgoon, "They liked having interactive things to do during the training, and their leadership was very pleased with the training too."